Atul’s Song A Day- A choice collection of Hindi Film & Non-Film Songs

Wo din yaad karo

Posted on: July 4, 2012


This article is written by Sadanand Kamath, a fellow enthusiast of Hindi movie music and a regular contributor to this blog.

We all know that Mukesh was regarded as Raj Kapoor’s voice. The film audience accepted it, though in my view, Raj Kapoor’s voice matched more with that of Manna Dey. I came across a somewhat similar situation albeit on a smaller scale in the 40s with reference to a lead actor of that time viz Ragini and the playback singer Zeenat Begum. It is said that Zeenat Begum’s voice matched so much with that of Ragini that many filmgoers of that time felt that it was Ragini who was singing for herself on the screen. Obviously, during that period, Zeenat Begum became the main playback singer for Ragini and with this tag, she became the playback singer for many lead actors of that time. For those to whom these two names do not ring any bells, here are their brief profiles (with inputs from various sources on the internet).

Zeenat Begum was a courtesan and a trained singer in classical music. She recorded her first song in Punjabi in 1937 which was a non-filmy song. She caught attention as a playback singer when her songs in a Punjabi film ‘Mangti’ (1942) under the music direction of Pandit Gobindram became super hits. She got her first break in Hindi film ‘Nishani’ (1942) for which Pandit Amarnath ( elder brother of Husnlal-Bhagatram) composed the music. During her active years of singing career (1942-1951), she sang about 150 songs for music directors like Pandit Amarnath, Pandit Govindram, Ghulam Haider, Khurshid Anwar, Shyam Sundar, Lachhiram, Firoze Nizami, Vinod, Vasant Desai etc. Her last film was ‘Mukhda’ (1950) under the baton of Vinod before she migraed to Pakistan. She passed away in 1966.

Ragini(1925-2007) whose real name was Shamshad Begum was born in Gujaranwala. Her mother died during her childhood. So her father, Seth Diwan Parmanand took her with him to Lahore. His neighbour in Lahore, Roshan Lal Shorey (father of Roop K Shorey) having been impressed with her expressive eyes, convinced her father to let her work in his Punjabi film‘Dulla Bhatti’ (1940). The film directed by Roop K Shorey became an instant hit and filmgoers were captivated by Ragini, her screen name. She worked in many Hindi films, mostly made in Lahore like ‘Nishani’ (1942), ‘Poonji’ (1943), ‘Daasi’ (1944), ‘Shirin-Farhad’ (1945), ‘Nek Parveen’ (1946) etc. With many hit films to her credit, producer A R Kardar called Ragini to Bombay (Mumbai) to take her as a lead actor in the role of Mumtaz Mahal opposite K LSaigal in ‘Shahjehan’ (1946). It is said that Ragini charged Rs. one lakh to do this role. Her last film in undivided India was ‘Manmaani’ (1947) before she migrated to Pakistan. Because of her almond shaped eyes, she was also called as ‘Aahoo-Chashm’ (Mrignayani in Hindi) and was known as Aashoo Chashm Ragini.

Here is a song ‘wo din yaad karo’ from the film DAASI (1944) written by D N Madhok and composed by Pandit Amarnath. In this song, Zeenat Begum has sung for Ragini. The other actor seen in the song picturisation is the lead actor Najmal Hussain. When I heard this song for the first time a few months back, I thought that the song was sung by Ragini on herself. I had earmarked this song for a write up long back but I was stuck in 2-3 places while deciphering the lyrics. So I left it to be tackled it later. It was only when I read the article by nahm on this blog a few days back on a song with similar starting line wo din yaad karo that I was reminded of the song under discussion. I have not been able to get 2-3 words of the lyrics against which I have put question mark. I hope readers of this blog will crack them.

I have not seen the film but from the song picturisation, I guess that the Najmal Hussain is suffering from amnesia and Ragini is trying to bring his memory back by singing this song. Normally, for this kind of a poignant song, the music is composed in a slow rhythm with background music giving a melancholic feel. But in this song, Pandit Amarnath has used the symphony style musical interludes with fast paced music and rendition and I like it. Five songs from this film have already been discussed in the blog. The quality of video clip of this song is very good and one can notice Ragini’s almond shaped expressive eyes for which cinegoers were ‘fida’ (obsessed) with her in those days.

Audio

Video

Song-Wo din yaad karo (Daasi)(1944) Singer-Zeenat Begam, Lyrics-D N Madhok, MD-Pt Amarnath

Lyrics

wo din yaad karo
o o o
wo din yaad karo
o o
wo din yaad karo
o o o
wo din yaad karo
gaaon ke chhori
ratiyaa(?) gayi
gaon ke chhori
ratiyaa(?) gayi
hathon mein gopiyaan le kar aayi
hathon mein gopiyaan le kar aayi
aankh se aankh milaayi
aankh se aankh milaayi
wo din yaad karo
o o o
wo din yaad karo
wo din yaad karo
o o
wo din yaad karo

yaad karo wo sapnaa pyaara
aa aa aa aa
haathon mein haath thha tumhaaraa
yaad karo wo sapnaa pyaara
aa aa aa aa
haathon mein haath thha tumhaaraa
ab mera kaun sahaara
ab mera kaun sahaara
wo din yaad karo
o o o
wo din yaad karo
o o
wo din yaad karo
o o o
wo din yaad karo
der bhayi
der bhayi ghar aao baalam
haar gayen hain ro ro ke ham
haar gayen hain ro ro ke ham
tumko hamaari kasam
tumko hamaari kasam
wo din yaad karo
o o
wo din yaad karo
wo din yaad karo
o o
wo din yaad karo

4 Responses to "Wo din yaad karo"

Kamath ji,
I am always happy when a film or a song from 30s or 40s is mentioned. Thanks for it.I have given the film’s details on a song posted on 15-11-2011 already.

The real name of Ragini was IRSHAD BEGUM(according to an interview with her daughter) and she used to be called as SHADO in childhood.Her father’s name was DEEWAN SAHIB,the family being a devout muslim.
Ragini was totally neglected by Pak film industry in her last days(same case in India too,no different !).her son had died and she was having problems with her daughter who was married and stayed in Karachi.The beautiful eyes of Ragini had cataract and she was Arthritic too.She died in absolute pathetic way.
The correct name of the Hero of this film DAASI-44 was NAJM-UL-HASSAN(who had become famous for eloping with Devika Rani to Calcutta).
-AD

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Thanks for additional inputs about Ragini.

While collecting the information from the websites, I found only at one place Ragini’s real name was mentioned as ‘Irshad Begum’. In all other websites which I had gone through her name was mentioned as ‘Shamshad Begum’. So I went by majority 🙂

The name of Ragini’s father was mentioned as Seth Deewan Pramanand in 2-3 places. Perhaps he was called as ‘Deewan Saheb’ out of respect by his peers.

It was mentioned in two places that the lead actor’s correct name was Najm-ul-Hassan. But I went by the name ‘Najmul Hussain’ as mentioned in the credit title of the film. At one place, it was mentioned that HGK has also printed his name as ‘Najmul Hussain’. Since I do not have HGK with me, I am not able to verify this.

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Kamath ji,
There were 2 persons at the same time in the film industry by the name of NAJ mul.
One was Najmul Hussain Naqvi,who was continuity man with Bombay Talkies during the period when actor NAJMUL HASSAN eloped with Devika Rani bringing disrepute to the name.
Just to differentiate himself from the errant Najmul Hassan,the continuity man Najmul hussain Naqvi changed his name to NAJAM NAQVI.later he became a small actor,producer and even director.There is a Facebook page also in his name run by his daughter from USA.
For a long time there used to be confusion in these two names and many sites wrongly wrote one name for the other.Some sites went to the extent of declaring that both were ONE person only.
Luckily,Mrs.Tahira Najam Naqvi has clarified thse matters in details on Memsaab blog and also on her/Najam Naqvi’s Fb page several times.
The point here is undoubtedly the actor’s name is NAJM UL HASSAN,and nothing else.
The problem with old films,people,songs and events is that there is no proper record and we have to depend on some relative to crop up and make corrections.Not all people read that also.The so called movie sites on the Internet add to the confusion by replicating the mistake one site has made and everyone copies that.
-AD

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Arunkumarji and Sadanandji

I remember that I saw a movie named Chamkee in 1952 wherein the leading role was of Ragini. In the newspaper I read that she was specially called from Pakistan for this movie.(I did not know that she was muslim). For this movie the MD was Manna De.
No song from this movie is yet posted on this blog.

Can you throw some light on this please ?

DJS

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